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Ames Public Library
is a department of
the City of Ames.

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Support the Ames Public Library
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Volunteering at the Ames Public Library

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Every year, over 400 volunteers help support the Ames community by helping with various aspects of library services. We strive to match eager volunteers with rewarding positions to enhance the services and programming that Ames Public Library offers. APL Volunteer Services also works with court-ordered Community Services participants as well as library customers who would like like to address their fines by participating in our Fine Alternative Program.

Who can Volunteer?

Participants in Volunteer Services programming must be 11 years of age or older. Some exceptions may be made for groups of children completing service learning projects through school or other organizations.  Additionally, because family volunteering is encouraged at APL, younger children are welcome to volunteer with their parents or grandparents.

How to Sign Up

If you are interested in volunteering opportunities, including the summer youth volunteer program, community service, and fine alternative programs, or would like more information, contact the Volunteer Services Coordinator at or (515) 239-5663.

Volunteer Opportunities

Ames Public Library has a variety of volunteer positions available for adults, teenagers, and families who are interested in making a positive impact on the Ames community and its quality of life. Here is a list of some of the volunteer opportunities available. If you have a particular interest or skill area not listed here, please talk to the Volunteer Services Coordinator about other opportunities.


Come join a wonderful team of volunteers who help our used book store, Literary Grounds, be the success that it is!  Funds raised through the book store help to support library programming, materials, and services.  This fun position requires at least one two hour shift per week; shifts needing to be filled currently are Monday-Saturday 3:00-5:00.  Duties include simple cashiering, light cleaning, coffee preparation, and closing procedures.  Applicants for this position must have good customer service skills, accurate money counting skills, and can commit long term. 


A volunteer is needed to help distribute program fliers throughout the Main Street area and, if possible, beyond.  The commitment for this position is once or twice per month.  Transportation will be needed to reach locations outside of the downtown area. 


Project Smyles is an early literacy program offered to area daycares and preschools in which APL staff works directly with daycare staff and parents to enhance early literacy opportunities and activities for their children.  One of these opportunities is to have the daycares and preschools visit the library as a group.  CyRide has offered to provide transportation for larger groups of children but a specific ratio of adults to children has to be met.  If a childcare center cannot meet that ratio with their own staff or parent volunteers, APL has offered to arrange for an APL volunteer to accompany the childcare center on CyRide to and from the Library as a chaperone.  Visits are arranged at a variety of times during the week but primarily will take place Monday-Friday mornings.  Volunteers will need to have transportation to the assigned child care sites.  Applicants for Project Smyles must be comfortable supervising children and have excellent customer service skills.  Please consider helping us connect these children to some wonderful literacy programming!


If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Volunteer Services Coordinator, Sarah Bohlke at or 239-5663.


There are other areas of volunteer needs not listed here including special projects and events, so please ask about opportunities that may be of more interest to you. 

Contact UsContact Us

For more information, call (515) 239-5663 or e-mail